Monozygotic twins discordant for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Ascertainment and clinical characteristics

Wendy S. Sharp, Rebecca F Gottesman, Deanna K. Greenstein, Christen L. Ebens, Judith L. Rapoport, F. Xavier Castellanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: Nongenetic factors and phenomenology of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were examined in monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs discordant for ADHD. Method: Recruitment included telephone screening (n = 297 pairs), behavioral ratings obtained from parents and teachers (n = 59 pairs), and, finally, in-person assessment (n = 25 pairs; structured classroom observation, diagnostic interview, psychoeducational evaluation, birth record review, establishment of monozygosity, and anatomic brain imaging). Affected twins were further contrasted with previously studied affected singletons. Results: Of the 25 MZ twin pairs qualifying for in-person evaluation, only 10 proved discordant for ADHD. Affected twins were mostly comparable with affected singletons on clinical measures, although fathers' self-ratings of childhood ADHD status were significantly lower in twins than in singletons. Conclusions: Discordance for ADHD in MZ twins appears to be ascribable to greater environmental discordance and decreased familiality. Despite these differences, affected twins were phenotypically comparable with affected singletons. Thus MZ twins discordant for ADHD, while rare, can inform research on the etiology and pathophysiology of this disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Monozygotic Twins
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Birth Certificates
Telephone
Neuroimaging
Fathers
Parents
Observation
Interviews
Research

Keywords

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Discordant twins
  • Monozygotic twins
  • Subject ascertainment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Monozygotic twins discordant for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder : Ascertainment and clinical characteristics. / Sharp, Wendy S.; Gottesman, Rebecca F; Greenstein, Deanna K.; Ebens, Christen L.; Rapoport, Judith L.; Castellanos, F. Xavier.

In: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol. 42, No. 1, 01.2003, p. 93-97.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sharp, Wendy S. ; Gottesman, Rebecca F ; Greenstein, Deanna K. ; Ebens, Christen L. ; Rapoport, Judith L. ; Castellanos, F. Xavier. / Monozygotic twins discordant for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder : Ascertainment and clinical characteristics. In: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2003 ; Vol. 42, No. 1. pp. 93-97.
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